Industrial policy and structural transformation of Uganda – Lecture series

In 2016 the Bank of Uganda is commemorating its 50th anniversary through various activities, events, and publications. This Golden Jubilee is an opportunity to focus public attention towards the Bank’s role in promoting economic and financial stability as well as create a context for a broad debate on the national economic development strategy.

The Bank is perceived as a pillar of the economy and a progressive force that should be harnessed to take a broader mandate that would include active participation in development finance and protecting the economy against shocks. Yet, successful central banks are those whose remit focuses on a well-defined set of goals around price stability, financial sector soundness, and effective payment systems. The leading central banks establish the foundation rather than directly driving development finance and economic growth.

Nevertheless, the tapering of economic growth rates in Uganda since the successful implementation of the Economic Reform Program of the late 1980s and 1990s has motivated a search for renewed economic impetus. There are calls for public policy to go beyond the reliance on the private sector to deliver economic growth under an enabling environment that would be provided by the public sector. Therefore, at this juncture, there exists a context for an exploration of the potential sources of economic growth for Uganda as well as a debate of the paradigm underlying the national economic development strategy, so as to identify and rally public support for a second generation of reforms.

Seizing the opportunity of the Golden Jubilee, the Bank of Uganda and the IGC are harnessing the convening power of the central bank to bring together leading scholars, thinkers, studious policy makers, captains of industry, together with interested audiences in order to fruitfully explore and discuss the contemporary trends, issues, and solutions that may be critical for Ugandan or African sustainable and equitable growth and development.

  • The first lecture of this series took place on Friday 21 October 2016 in Kampala. The guest speaker of the first lecture was Prof Douglas Gollin (Oxford University, IGC) who discussed the challenges of “Agricultural Transformation and Urbanisation” in Uganda. His presentation and policy note can be downloaded below.
  • The second lecture of this series took place on Thursday 9 February 2017 in Kampala. The guest speaker of this lecture was Dr David Dollar (Brookings Institution) who discussed “How Uganda can benefit from China’s Economic Rise?”. His presentation and a press brief can be downloaded below.
  • The third lecture of this series takes place on Friday 21 September 2018 in Kampala. The guest speaker of this lecture is Dr John Page (Brookings Institution, IGC) who discusses “Beyond Manufacturing: Structural Change in Africa Reconsidered”.

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